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Energy Saving Trust initiative to promote electric vehicle uptake

Date: 16 May 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

The Energy Saving Trust has launched an initiative aimed at encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles in fleets across the UK.

The organisation is offering firms a complimentary EV business plan to help implement such vehicles into their fleets.

There is capacity for up to 20 companies to take part in the scheme, while the plan itself will analyse each business to find out how EVs can best benefit their operations.

The scheme will also include guidance on introducing EVs - including vans and plug-in hybrids - into a fleet and information on total cost of ownership and charging infrastructure costs.

The introduction of the scheme follows the EST's Plugged-in Fleets report, which was published in February and addresses the business case for EVs and the operational and financial incentives for companies.

TfL will fund 15 of the schemes, which will go to companies in London, while the DfT will finance the remaining five.

To apply for the business plan, fleets must complete an application form and a pledge by Friday 18 May. Application packs can be obtained from the EST by calling 0845 602 1425, emailing or visiting

Caroline Watson, transport strategy manager at the EST, told BusinessCar: "There's no commitment to buy any EVs at the end of the scheme, but if there's a solid business case for them then we would hope that they would.

"A fleet consultant will be sent out to meet with the business and conduct a review looking at real life data to allow them to calculate whole-life costs.

What [the company] gets out of it is a review of their own fleet and a solid recommendation at the end - something like 'we think you should buy 10 of these'. We'll also say if we think electric vehicles are going to cost them more and fleets would be better off with something else."

Watson said the EST will also write a final report at the end of the consultations, so other businesses are able to benefit from the results.

Interest so far has apparently been high and Watson said that the criteria for selecting the 20 businesses for the scheme will be based largely on commitment to the cause.

"If the MD has signed it off then that's favourable. We'll look at actions taken already, such the fitment of solar panels to a company's building and also the size of the fleet - we want a broad range, but obviously a larger fleet will have the opportunity to buy electric vehicles in bulk."

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